Kenwood Sovereign System (Changer, Entre, and Receiver) Issues and Answers - Page 40 - AVS Forum
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post #1171 of 6894 Old 10-03-2002, 04:59 AM
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Ok . . . but that's the point of my question: Let's forget about trying to get an answer from Kenwood. Let's assume the worst. Let's assume that Kenwood no longer makes Entre, they no longer support Entre . . . that it is discontinued.

Is the box called Entre still of any use? Can it be used for the purposes that we are now using it--to control one changer, download cover art, get internet radio? Or does the continued viability of using Entre depend on whether Kenwood continues to "support" it with OpenGlobe?

Are there any technical reasons why a discontinued product (like Entre could become) can't be used in the same way it is now being used. That's my question.

Nick
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post #1172 of 6894 Old 10-03-2002, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by zinja
OK, obviously Kenwood has not intention of revealing what they are going to do about the multi-changer function. Their failure to respond in any way is not a good sign.

One company that clearly continues to support is customers is Philips. Check out their new iPronto. This looks like one of the most promising new controllers on the market. Philips has also supported its products with new downloads, editing programs, firmware updates, etc. Someone here needs to buy it and see if they can adapt it to the multichangers (get rid of the entre, daisy chain three 5900's and see if the iPronto can be used to store, catalog, and control DVD collection.) Hey David, maybe you can get Philips to give you one to experiment with.

I'm with you. But it seems to me that the necessary predicate to what we want is for DVD Lobby to work, i.e., to work as a graphic user interface with DVD Profiler, to control our changers. Then, if that get make its way onto the i-Pronto . . . best solution yet.

One thing at a time, though. Mario Cascio is working hard at making a seamless integration of DVD Lobby and DVD Profiler 2.0, and then on to the changer control. Then, by the way, it doesn't matter what the brand of changer (I think), although the 5900 remains attractive to me nonetheless because of its DVD-A capability.

Nick
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post #1173 of 6894 Old 10-03-2002, 06:25 AM
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I don't think it matters what changer you use, but changers with rs232 connections can be controlled directly instead of using IR if a program exists to send commands to the player.

By the way, can DVD Profiler put a stop to Mario's efforts? Does DVDProfiler give you the rights to use their data in any way you see fit?

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post #1174 of 6894 Old 10-03-2002, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by slocko
I don't think it matters what changer you use, but changers with rs232 connections can be controlled directly instead of using IR if a program exists to send commands to the player.

By the way, can DVD Profiler put a stop to Mario's efforts? Does DVDProfiler give you the rights to use their data in any way you see fit?

It sure sounds as if he has the blessing of DVD Profiler. But . . . .why would DVD Profiler want to stop DVD Lobby? It seeks to use DVD Profiler, which will only give it more exposure.

Our problems are going to be soon solved. But, perhaps, it won't be with the product we thought it would.

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post #1175 of 6894 Old 10-03-2002, 11:29 AM
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I presently have two 5050's and use my Pronto along with a program called SuperNudelist, which generates panels for my Pronto to display my discs by title and genre', it works flawlessly and overcomes the inherent problems of the Kenwood not to aggregate data across multiple changers. I also use it to manage my MP3 collection. If anyone is interested in looking at my CCF leave me a PM and I will email it to you. For those of you not familiar with the Pronto a CCf is a configuration file for the Pronto and requires ProntoEdit or Tonto to view and use it.


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post #1176 of 6894 Old 10-03-2002, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by b00bie
I presently have two 5050's and use my Pronto along with a program called SuperNudelist, which generates panels for my Pronto to display my discs by title and genre', it works flawlessly and overcomes the inherent problems of the Kenwood not to aggregate data across multiple changers. I also use it to manage my MP3 collection. If anyone is interested in looking at my CCF leave me a PM and I will email it to you. For those of you not familiar with the Pronto a CCf is a configuration file for the Pronto and requires ProntoEdit or Tonto to view and use it.

Tom

Pronto is great, and certainly if we have to, we can manage our changers accordingly. What's important to the owners of Entre is the color/menu/graphic art interface that's on screen. That's something we're trying to preserve.

In the event that DVD Lobby works with DVD Profiler, that will be a lot closer to what Entre owners have become accustomed. If Entre gets discontinued, I'm sure the Pronto solution will become a regular one.

Nick
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post #1177 of 6894 Old 10-03-2002, 12:17 PM
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Hi All,
I had received permission from Intervocative (DVDProfiler) when we started the first version of DVDLobby Pro. I've since been in contact (this past month) with them hoping to build a tighter relationship because I do believe DVDLobby Pro adds a lot to their current software and it just helps to sell it.

The new version of DVDLobby Pro 2.0 (not yet available) is already successfully reading the new DVDProfiler 2.0 XML export file along with sorting of some of the more common fields.

There's a great opportunity for new users to help mold DVDLobby Pro 2.0 with features they either really like or would like to see. If there's something you wish you could do that you currently can't with your existing system, let us know and we'll try to work it in. Here's a link to a thread going on where you can let us know what you'd like to see. Click here.

We're also working on adding more bells and whistles such as rotating lights around the movie poster image, new themes, animated graphics, add your own Genre, favorites, etc.

Here's a screen shot of just one of the 20+ background skins from DVDLobby Pro 1.21:

Mario


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post #1178 of 6894 Old 10-03-2002, 02:38 PM
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Hello everyone-
I just wanted to take a moment to say "Thanks" for all your comments on the Sovereign system over the past year. I assure you that your comments are not being ignored, and are being passed on to the people at Kenwood that can actually make some of the suggested changes.
Perhaps most importantly, I wanted to thatnk you for bearing with me over the past few weeks. I honestly had no idea what to expect from the forum, and fear that I may have been more of a disruptive element than an assistance due to my inexperience in posting to groups such as this one.
With that said, I wish you all the best, and will be attempting to address all your questions and comments...
Cheers
Jeff

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post #1179 of 6894 Old 10-03-2002, 03:26 PM
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Jeff are you going away? Are they locking you up in a white room with a special shirt?

Jeff, most of us here are power users and have figured out all the easy things. If you were expecting to come in here and answer beginner questions, then I can see how you might have been surprised

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post #1180 of 6894 Old 10-03-2002, 04:46 PM
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As my posts might indicate, I have my doubts about the viability of Entre. Forget about whether it will get upgraded. I wonder whether the plug will get pulled on it (sorry, Kenwood, I'm just the umpire--only calling balls and strikes).

I don't have the same doubts about the changers. Even without Entre, and even with their ergonomic problems, the changers are good performers, and you can hook three together. Silly UI, but the vital signs remain good.

Now, as a current Entre owner, I can take several routes if Kenwood does discontinue. I can complain, formally or informally, and, at the very least, return the product and be refunded. For that matter, I can do that right now. Of that I am reasonably certain.

Or, if Entre gets discontinued, I can buy a few more.

I'm not kidding here. If it gets discontinued, the price of existing units will plummet. If they start to get scavenged at a few hundred dollars apiece, I might be tempted to buy two more, and get my three changer control--one Entre per unit. I'd have to use an IR router to eliminate remote control confusion, and I'd have to do something about video switching from unit to unit; I invite comment on the internet connectivity issues, but I suspect it could be done.

That's why I asked earlier about whether Entre's discontinuance would prompt its obsolescence.

I'm sure my questions in this regard do not warm the cockles of Kenwood's heart, but I really mean no offense; actually, I mean praise. I like Entre, and I like it a lot. I like it enough to spend some extra money on Entre units--if the price was right, and if they worked, even when Entre got discontinued.

So, I'll ask again: If Entre gets discontinued, does anyone know if that would be a reason it would no longer work?

Nick
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post #1181 of 6894 Old 10-03-2002, 09:17 PM
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Nick, as I see it, if the entre gets discontinued, the relationship with openglobe will probably be adversely effected. I am sure that Kenwood pays a licensing fee to openglobe to get access, and lack of Kenwood support most likely would mean that we lose access to openglobe for DVD access. That would clearly not be good. More importantly, if openglobe upgrades its product, but entre is not upgraded by Kenwood, oops there goes the interface. Either way, without the openglobe interface you have a nice cd ripper, but not much else.

Interestingly, regardless of how simple the current GUI is for the standalone changers, they work for the multichangers. Kenwood could pay the licensing fee for DVD access (like they do with CD's) and there you go, not pretty, but 1,200 DVD's in one interface.
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post #1182 of 6894 Old 10-04-2002, 06:09 AM
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Zinja,

I may be wrong here... but I thought I was pretty sure that even the 5900Ms' stand-alone interface only manages that units' library. The "3 changer" control aludes to the fact that you can daisy-chain component input and audio, and the fact that you have 3 changer buttons on the remote control. But, I still think you have to flip through three different libraries to access all 1200 discs.

Can someone confirm that my assumptions are correct here?

350 discs and growing...

Jon

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post #1183 of 6894 Old 10-04-2002, 06:22 AM
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I think Jon is correct. That behavior was reported in this thread or the other. It doesn't aggregate the 3 changers into one list. YOu have the choose the player to see what movies are loaded on that player. Clearly defeats the purpose of daisy chaining since you will never remember which player a disc is in.

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post #1184 of 6894 Old 10-04-2002, 06:37 AM
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Does anyone know which way to load a widescreen movie if the disc has standard on one side and widescreen on the other? widescreen facing left or right?

my player began playing Iron Giant at 6am morning. Scared the crap out of me. Don't understand what happened. That was the last movie the kids watched last night but I distinctly remember the kenwood logo on the screen before I switched the tv to satellite.

I can only think of two possibilities. My wife accidently put the remote in dvd mode and hit play. The dvd stayed in the menu for hours and hours and finally decided to play at 6am. Highly unlikely sceneario.

Power went out at 6am and the last disc began playing automatically when it came back. I like that one, but I don't find any sign of a power outage. If did, it must have been isolated to that particular circuit in the house.

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Quote:
It doesn't aggregate the 3 changers into one list.

I remember researching this before I bought the 5900. There is only one GUI through the main changer, however I remember seeing pictures of tabs at the top of the gui like a windows folder that say something like "sub2, sub3" if you have multiple changers attached.

Picking a "sub" activates that page, and then you can perfrom searches, etc. on that page as a standalone player.

Of course the big downside is that it does NOT aggregate or allow searches across all 2 or 3 changers you may have connected. On the upside you get one gui screen and audio/video is routed through one output, and the IR commands are routed to the right player.

BJB
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post #1186 of 6894 Old 10-04-2002, 07:40 AM
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Hopefully this is not like the picture of movie sypnosis on the main screen of the entre that they show in the manual

Maybe Jeff can comment on this?


Quote:
Originally posted by BJBBJB


however I remember seeing pictures of tabs at the top of the gui like a windows folder that say something like "sub2, sub3" if you have multiple changers attached.


BJB


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post #1187 of 6894 Old 10-04-2002, 08:44 AM
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Slocko,

Since the changer stipulates that you face the "label" of the disc to the right, you would want the widescreen side of the disc (the side you want read by the laser) facing the left.

Jon

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post #1188 of 6894 Old 10-04-2002, 09:09 AM
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Jon, are you sure about that ? I am almost certain that I normally put the "widescreen" label up on a normal player and toward the right on the 5900M to get the format correct...

Lars Berglund
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post #1189 of 6894 Old 10-04-2002, 09:20 AM
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Lars158,

Let me start off by saying that I'm not sure about anything! With that said, here's how I came to that conclusion:

Since you insert discs with the label to the right, that tells me that the opposite side is the side being read by the laser.
So,
LEFT SIDE: DATA (read by laser)
RIGHT SIDE: LABEL (not read by laser)

If you have a 2-sided disc and you want the widescreen side to be read, I would insert the disc so that:
LEFT SIDE: Widescreen version (read by laser)
RIGHT SIDE: PAN'n'SCAN version (not read by laser)

This seemed logical to me until I just thought about it a bit further. And Lars158, you're right, and I was wrong...and here's why:

Because the side that has "widescreen" on it is actually the pan-and-scan version on it! If a user inserts a disc into a normal player with the "Widescreen" text facing up, the bottom side is being read, and is the widescreen version.

So, allow me to reverse my statement:

SLOCKO -- you want the widescreen label facing the RIGHT!

Jon

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post #1190 of 6894 Old 10-04-2002, 10:39 AM
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thxs guys. It makes sense. Widescreen atually contains the data on the same side.

I guess I have been watching the wrong side with these double sided discs!!!!! This is where the entre would come in handy. Does it tell you if a disc is double sided? I need to revisit all my double sided discs now.

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post #1191 of 6894 Old 10-04-2002, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by slocko
thxs guys. It makes sense. Widescreen atually contains the data on the same side.

I guess I have been watching the wrong side with these double sided discs!!!!! This is where the entre would come in handy. Does it tell you if a disc is double sided? I need to revisit all my double sided discs now.

This is a case where the flip-disk button may actually be useful - I don't own any "flippers".

Ken
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post #1192 of 6894 Old 10-04-2002, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by zinja
Nick, as I see it, if the entre gets discontinued, the relationship with openglobe will probably be adversely effected. I am sure that Kenwood pays a licensing fee to openglobe to get access, and lack of Kenwood support most likely would mean that we lose access to openglobe for DVD access. That would clearly not be good. More importantly, if openglobe upgrades its product, but entre is not upgraded by Kenwood, oops there goes the interface. Either way, without the openglobe interface you have a nice cd ripper, but not much else.

Interestingly, regardless of how simple the current GUI is for the standalone changers, they work for the multichangers. Kenwood could pay the licensing fee for DVD access (like they do with CD's) and there you go, not pretty, but 1,200 DVD's in one interface.

I'd bet the more likely scenario is that individual owners would have the option of paying the OpenGlobe fee themselves. By the way, I always expected that the "free" OpenGlobe would one day convert into a subscription, once enough people "realized" how much they wanted it.

Note the absence of any objection at the idea that Entre will get discontinued.

Nick
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Does anyone have any insight into Sovereign sales overall? I wonder how well the Entre and the Changers are selling?

I've said it here before, and I'll say it again: If Kenwood would have fixed some of the UI missteps in the 5900M, they would have doubled their sales, if not 5 fold. Grass-roots word would have gone out that this was the changer to have.

Too many users like me would warn people they care about about the problems associated with the changer before recommending it. That cool evangelism translates into cool sales.

Jon

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post #1194 of 6894 Old 10-05-2002, 11:01 AM
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It brings up the question as to how viable Escient Technologies (Owner of Openglobe, etc.) is. Its hard to tell without running a Dunn and Bradstreet.

As far as I can tell, it is privately held and there is no easy way as to tell how its doing economically.

Ken Elliott
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Quote:
Originally posted by slocko
I guess I have been watching the wrong side with these double sided discs!!!!! This is where the entre would come in handy. Does it tell you if a disc is double sided? I need to revisit all my double sided discs now.

You might want to check out DVD Profiler. That software is linked to an online database of user contributions which (among other things) includes a checkbox to tell you if the DVD is a "flipper" or not. You can use the free version to get this information. If you like the high-res cover scans and the no-advertising option, you can register for a modest fee.

I'm not affiliated with Intervocative. Just a satisfied user. And I'll admit that it would be nice if this was linked into the Entre.


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post #1196 of 6894 Old 10-05-2002, 04:31 PM
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I second the previous comment about DVD Profiler - a great product !!!

I have never been more satisfied. If we could just get transport control functions added (for Kenwood multi changers) I would be a very happy man. I suppose there is a chance that DVD Lobby will do just that...

Lars Berglund
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post #1197 of 6894 Old 10-05-2002, 04:52 PM
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I agree that DVD profiler is a great tool. I noticed that DVDProfiler claims plug in support.

It would be fantastic if someone could do a plug-in to control multiple Kenwood changers using the Profiler collection number as some kind of slot/changer id (since we can edit that field).

I understand that quite a bit of work has been done to reverse engineer the serial command strings, without Kenwood's support. Perhaps, if they monitor this forum, they would publish the command sequence documentation.

Unless doing so shows why multichanger support doesn't work. ie. some bugs in the serial command pass through for name insertion and extraction, and that is why they keep the info locked up.

However, even if that is the case, I would not object to using 2 serial ports to control my 2 changers without using the serial daisy chain. For a third changer I suppose I could buy an add on serial card.
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post #1198 of 6894 Old 10-05-2002, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Unless doing so shows why multichanger support doesn't work. ie. some bugs in the serial command pass through for name insertion and extraction, and that is why they keep the info locked up.

Interesting theory. There is some information and a program available. I have tried using this, but it's not reliable - sometimes it works, sometimes not. I believe the program's author, Larry Rowland, gave up on it himself and is using IR control (so am I). See http://www.gadgetland.net/chgctrl/ .

It's interesting that the serial port commands do include a unit number, so it looks like it may be possible to to use multiple serial ports or a hardware "repeater" or splitter to send the same commands to all changers, assuming that they each only respond to commands with the the corresponding unit number. Or a circuit with an input and three output serial ports with a simple microprocessor doing the switching. After all, as minimal as it is, the NetNamer program does work.

I'm still hopeful (15 discs until mine fills up). I think I read a way to control multiple changers with the remote, so it may be possible use an IR solution with a PC - gotta use the old ones for something, right? I'm currently using an IR Linc from SmartHome.
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post #1199 of 6894 Old 10-06-2002, 09:33 AM
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For anyone interested in the 5900 RS232 protocol information, I have posted the full documentation that Kenwood provided to P3 partners at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nirvis...32-dv5900m.doc

(This was the easiest place to put the file that was still relevant to all parties).

The documentation DOES provide all information concerning multiple changer control and access to all features available.

If anyone has a similar document for the RS232 command set for the VR5700/VR5900 receivers I would be extremely greatful if you would pass it along to me.

Enjoy.

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post #1200 of 6894 Old 10-06-2002, 09:42 AM
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Larry didn't actually give up on the RS232 control out of difficulty of implementation but rather difficulty (read as EXTREMELY time consuming) efforts required to reverse engineer the unpublished protocol information.

I have since then provided him with the full RS232 docs (see previous post if you want a copy for yourself) and I don't think he has had any free time to do anything with it yet.

He's got several irons in the fire (see http://www.gadgetland.net for a list) so I'm not surprised that we haven't seen anything from him as he has been quite consumed with other projects.

I don't understand why Kenwood thinks that keeping the protocol information a secret works to their benefit (OK, for the 5900 multi-changer issue it does raise some questions about why a fix for the Entre doesn't exist yet ) but maybe someday they will understand the positive benefits of providing the info to developers. If they don't it is only a matter of time before another manufacturer does figure it out and understands the positive impact that providing the information has on overall sales.
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